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Lawmakers Consider Changes To Bar Closing Time

DENVER (CBS4)- In an effort to cut down on hundreds of intoxicated people flowing out of bars at closing time in downtown Denver, state lawmakers are considering making a change.

Right now alcohol cannot be served after 2 a.m. in Colorado. The new law would allow towns to keep their bars open until 7 a.m. as an option.

Rep. Crisanta Duran, a Democrat representing northwest Denver, believes making a change to the time bars close would keep crowds out of the streets and cut down on fighting.

"We're just trying to give local governments another tool to work with to combat violence issues," said Duran.

She is sponsoring the bill which would allow towns and cities across Colorado to decide how long the bars should stay open.

"In larger cities where they have bars that are open later through the night people naturally leave and you don't have hundreds of people on the street at a time," said Duran.

In the summer of 2013 an airman was killed after an altercation outside the bars on Market Street in Denver. This year over New Year's Eve in Denver a string of random attacks put several victims in the hospital.

Duran believes thinning out the crowd would solve the problem.

"I'm not sure it will spread out the craziness at closing time but it will allow us to plan better," said one bar employee.

A handful of business in downtown Denver already support the legislation, although they don't believe the problem with violence is as big as it seems.

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